Darshan Patel, 18, came to Dundalk from India to study mechanical engineering. He decided to study in Ireland rather than America, as his parents had suggested, because of the presence of companies like Google, PayPal, Facebook and eBay.
“Ireland is the hub of engineering. My family are all engineers so I came here to DkIT to study mechanical engineering. There are good opportunities for jobs after my studies are complete. I plan to stay here after my studies,” he said yesterday.
“I will apply for a job in PayPal,” he said, although his ultimate goal is to design car engines.
He is one of a group of “10-15 guys from India and everyone is studying engineering or business. Ireland is good for engineering because all of the US companies are here.”
He said that because English was the language spoken here, it meant there were more opportunities for students who, like him, have English as their second language. President of DkIT, Denis Cummins, said: “It is significant that Dundalk has a higher education institute almost next-door to PayPal.
“We have a significant number of international students, some 600, and they are from 74 different nations. I believe PayPal are interested in recruiting native speakers who are familiar with the culture of their native countries; they have already recruited some of our graduates,” he added.
Chairman of Dundalk municipal district, Cllr Declan Breathnach said the investment of the multi-agency Louth Economic Forum, chaired by former IDA director Padraic White was a factor in securing significant job coups like eBay and PayPal.
“When employment is good in any region, there is a spin-off benefit for ancillary opportunities for shops and for the economy here. It is a good day in Dundalk.”
Edel O’Mahony, manager of the Dundalk Investment Business Scheme (BIDS), said the challenge will now be to work with PayPal to ensure that as many of the anticipated 1,000 spin-off jobs stay in the region.
“We intend to work closely with PayPal and the team in Dundalk to ensure that where possible those jobs are secured for the town. The town had a strong manufacturing background and now we have an excellent IT-based skills resource. It makes sense that we work closely to ensure these jobs are kept as far as possible in the local area,” she added.
Dundalk Chamber President Paddy Matthews has described the announcement of 400 extra jobs at PayPal as fantastic news for the area. Mr Matthews also praised PayPal Vice-President Louise Phelan as a tremendous ambassador for Dundalk and Ireland. “The announcement of 400 extra jobs for PayPal in Dundalk is fantastic news for the area and is testament to the available skill sets and superb location that we can offer,” said Mr Matthews.